Located in the Duval County Courthouse in Downtown Jacksonville, the Duval County Probate Court primarily handles the administration of estates after an individual passes away. This is required by Florida law regardless of whether or not the decedent had a will. Most probate cases in Duval County are handled by the Probate Department of the Duval County Clerk of Courts, which is part of the 4th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.
In addition to the administration of estates, this court handles guardianship cases for minors and those who are incapacitated. Per Florida law, an attorney is required to be present at probate hearings due to the often complicated and confusing nature of these cases. Therefore, it is strongly suggested to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in Duval County probate.
As previously mentioned, most probate related matters are handled through the Duval County Probate Court, which is part of the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida. In addition to probate and estate administration, this court also handles cases related to guardianships. These processes are explained below.
Probate and Estate Administration – The handling of the estate of a deceased individual, which includes any property and/or assets the decedent may have had. Per Florida law the estate of a decedent is required to go through a probate court, regardless of whether or not a will exists.
It should be noted that wills cannot be placed with the court prior to the decedent’s death – they must instead be given to the court within 10 days after the decedent’s passing. For estates without a will, the estate will be distributed according to Florida law.
Guardianships – Guardianships are appointed by the court for those who are unable to make decisions for themselves, such as the mentally handicapped, those not mentally stable and minors under 18. Guardians are monitored by the court to ensure that individuals under their guardianship are properly treated and cared for. There are two different types of guardians that the court will appoint, as explained below:
- Plenary Guardian – These are appointed by the court when it is found that the ward is unable to perform all tasks required for the care of his or her person, and/or their property. Plenary guardians are given the power to exercise all delegable legal rights and powers of the ward.
- Limited Guardian – These are appointed by the court when the ward is capable of some but not all tasks required for the care of his or her person and/or their property. Limited guardians are only allowed to exercise legal rights and powers of the ward specifically granted to them by the court. Wards can also voluntarily petition for a limited guardian to be appointed by the court.
For details on how Duval County Probate Court handles these matters, please see the link below:
Duval County Probate Court Location
Duval County is one of five counties (Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Nassau and Baker) that make up the Jacksonville Metropolitan Area. Duval County has a population of approximately 864,000 residents and consists of five municipalities – Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Baldwin. If a person resided in one of these municipalities or anywhere within Duval County at the time of their death, the Duval County Probate Court will be responsible for the administration of their estate. The Duval County Probate Court is located at the address listed below:
Duval County Clerk of Courts
501 West Adams Street, Room 1173
Jacksonville, FL 32202